BY CAROL HICKS
City council members Tuesday heard a brief presentation from Zachary C. Kennedy, University of Illinois Extension Education, Community Development, and Assistant Professor Bev Wilson, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, about conducting a workshop for graduates and advanced undergraduates in the city.
"The workshop would be beneficial to the city," Wilson said. "It would a specific program for economic and community development with actionable strategies."
He added the students would like to do a short documentary video showing the strengths, what makes Hoopeston unique and what makes it a good place in which to live.
The university would first distribute surveys entitled "What Makes Your Community a Good Place to Live?" to more than 500 households regarding issues to improve the quality of life and the livability of rural communities.
About eight to 12 students would be in Hoopeston several times during the semester doing research and developing strategies for the city. It would address how Hoopeston might achieve the short-term and long-term strategies.
"If the workshop works well, we might have a follow-up course next year," Wilson said.
One of the requirements would be to have a steering committee made up of local residents to give guidance to the students that is relative to the workshop and beneficial to both students and Hoopeston. The steering committee would be required to have a monthly meeting via conference or e-mail.
Kennedy said Hoopeston was chosen due to a suggestion by Claudia DeWitt, who works with the University of Illinois Extension.
In other business, council members:
Learned an offer was given for the cemetery truck for $500. However, the cemetery can scrap the truck for $600, according to Alderwoman Nancy Stipp. Anyone wanting the truck, said Stipp, would have to bid higher than $600. She did say it had problems.
Flo Gooden of Hoopeston requested the city change its hours to allow more walkers to take advantage of the Civic Center during inclement weather. Saturday morning hours would be beneficial to the walkers. The matter will be addressed. The hours were not expanded due to several incidents of vandalism while it was open.
Goodwine announced the Grand Christmas Tree Lighting would begin at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 24, with the lighting at 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served in the City Hall parking lot. A magic show will also be at the Civic Center at 7 p.m. with a free-will donation sponsored by the Hoopeston Jaycees and U.S. Marine Corps.
Hoopeston City Council members will meet at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at City Hall, 301 W. Main St.